From the first wedding they coordinated, Sedika Franklin and Angela Williams of Double Platinum Events established their professional reputation as meticulous planners who never overlook a detail.
They’d received a call in early November for the December nuptials of a wedding coordinator who was getting married herself. They set up the initial consultation and used their comprehensive checklist to make sure the bride had covered every aspect up to that point.
“We quickly discovered there were many elements that needed attention,” Franklin said.
The bride was relying on family and friends for many key aspects of the event, including having a friend as DJ for the reception. So when that friend refused to serve as master of ceremonies at the reception, Franklin and Williams swung into action and moderated for the rest of the night.
Four years later, the lessons they learned from that first event still resonate.
“Based on our first event, we send our comprehensive 12-month checklist to our contracted clients and encourage them to have an honest conversation about where they stand in the process,” Franklin explained.
From contacting every vendor to creating a wedding-day itinerary for the bride and groom, they tie all the loose ends together like a bow on a bouquet. “We’ve learned that these little steps help to eliminate additional logistical surprises that can ultimately be avoided,” Franklin said.
Franklin and Williams met nine years ago at the Army Management Staff College. Serving together on the committee planning the annual symposium, they discovered their mutual love for creating large events. They brainstormed; they created schedules; they planned meetings and retreats. “We’d see the joy of success through the eyes of hundreds of participants,” Franklin recounted.
And others began to notice their skills. Friends and colleagues asked the pair to plan private functions for them, like anniversary parties, holiday parties, birthday parties and retirement receptions. Soon friends were wondering out loud why they weren’t in the event planning business.
In 2013, Franklin and Williams tied their own knot by launching their Woodbridge-based business. They offer planning services for lifetime events such as anniversaries, baby showers, graduations or retirements, and for monthly celebrations such as New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, Hanukkah or Christmas.
When it comes to weddings, Franklin and Williams promise to take all the images a couple has of their wedding day and bring them to life. They offer packages ranging from day-of help to all-inclusive planning.
“Planning a wedding will take over your life,” Franklin observed.
That’s where an event planner comes in, working on all aspects of the wedding day. Franklin and Williams keep the budget, the guests and the bride in mind throughout the planning process.
“The bride is the important factor in this equation,” Franklin said. “There will be multiple moving parts to the occasion, but who makes sure that the bride and all those moving parts are synchronized? The planner.”
Franklin and Williams work together like the coaching staff of a winning team. They know all the ins-and-outs of all the plays, they have a team of assistants to provide greater coverage when needed, and they are in the background to redirect those who go astray.
“We are meticulous,” Franklin emphasized. “We go above and beyond to make the event as stress-free as possible.”
It’s not uncommon to see Double Platinum Events represented at bridal events across the Washington region, and the company frequently holds its own bridal shows. Franklin and Williams enjoy meeting with soon-to-be-married couples and their supporters, and the events allow them to showcase their planning skills as well as the beautiful wedding venues throughout the area.
A key to their wedding-planning success is finding clients who are a good match for their skills. “We don’t believe in pressuring any client to sign with us because it should be a natural fit,” Franklin explained. “An engaged couple should pick us, and we should pick them.”
Those couples who work with Double Platinum Events get an extra bonus: Franklin and Williams are a package deal. They get two planners for one price. “We do the work,” said Franklin, “and they keep the memories.”